Get to know the squad!
Brook moved to Thunder Bay from Minnesota in 2017. After working at Confederation College as International Marketing Manager, Brook started her own business, Sociable Thunder Bay, in May 2020.
“[I] focus on taking [business owners] through the basics: how to implement and use a content calendar and scheduling tools to save time, and take the stress off. Also posting with a purpose and what that looks like: thinking about messaging and strategy, and getting into a routine. It can be done without getting super overwhelmed. Coming up with ideas is the fun part, and I tell them it’s going to be a lot of work. After these sessions, it’s so nice to see lightbulbs go off and this new inspiration.”
Favourite way to support business owners
“I’ve been talking to a lot of businesses that are new … and as any business owner knows, that is a super overwhelming stage to be in—you know what you want to do, but how do you get started, and where do you start when you have a hundred things to do? It feels really good to have people say that they’ve been super stuck and now they’re really motivated to get going and try some of these new things. That makes me feel really good and excited about doing this.”
“Sometimes all that you need are words of encouragement, and knowing you’re not alone! Other entrepreneurs and businesses are a great support system; that goes to show the type of people in Thunder Bay.”
What’s new @ Sociable
“Sociable is expanding into doing more events, which is really exciting for me, because it's a true passion of mine. We recently brought on a new photographer/videographer named Jack, and we’ve also grown our social media management services from three clients to potentially eight!”
Dylan is a graduate of the Interactive Media Development program at Confederation College. Upon graduating in 2017, he worked for design companies based in Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie. In February 2021, Dylan and a co-worker started Digital Mammoth, offering web design, web development, graphic design and branding. Dylan helps Digital TBay clients set up websites and Shopify and e-commerce sites.
“Business owners are all super gracious and super happy with the support. It is nice to see how the program helps out Thunder Bay business owners. This time around, we are doing a lot of in-person events as opposed to online calls. The highlight of this time is getting to meet the business owners in person.”
Helping business owners get online
“The overall goal is helping people get online so that they can reach new customers. I’m hoping that some people who don’t have websites book some calls, so that we can get them online. If cost was an issue in the past for them, and that’s why they don’t have a website, now’s an opportunity to get help with a website. They can do it for free, basically. I know that depending on where you go for a website, cost can be a big setback.”
Trends in the business
“A big part of everybody’s business is to get their emails and websites working. I help them get domains and emails sorted out. Seven years ago when I started, every company in town had a basic brochure site, and now you’re seeing a lot of companies doing ecommerce so that people can sell online.”
Brian has been working in the digital space for ten years. Brian moved to Thunder Bay from Mumbai in 2018 to attend Confederation College’s two-year post-graduate Digital Marketing and Marketing Analytics program. He started in his role at Firedog Communications in March 2022.
Favourite thing about supporting local business owners
“One of the things I have noticed in meeting small businesses in Thunder Bay is that they are very eager to learn. They are extremely open to all suggestions, and very appreciative. That makes a big difference when I am sharing my knowledge—when clients are very appreciative of the small things. When I able to help someone do the thing a bit better than it was being done before, that makes my day. Seeing small businesses grow gives me pleasure.”
Services provided as a Digital TBay squad member
Brian focuses on helping businesses with SEO (search engine optimization), Google Ads, building websites, and social media marketing. “Effective social media marketing requires a marketing strategy that covers finding your target market and target audience. I share a social media marketing strategy template, explain key words and terms, what is required, and I emphasize how important the strategy is. We go through it together, then clients take it and fill it out. They can book another session to go through it and see if it's on the right track.”
Making local connections that matter
“I connected with Digital TBay’s vision right away. I like to meet people and look at businesses to see how they can be helped in any way with digital. I like to help them grow. I’m new to the city, and being part of this type of program is one of the best ways to meet people.”